Home / How we see the world.

Blog - How we see the world.

Why You Should Get Your Kids Sunglasses

If you’re driving around your neighbourhood and spot a billboard advertising the latest eyewear or sunglasses you often see an A-list celebrity wearing these cool shades and you’ll think that you probably need to get a pair because you think it will make you look cooler.

It’s very rare that we think a pair of sunglasses is necessary to protect our eyes from harmful UV rays and it’s even rarer that we think kids would need it more than we do. But the truth is a pair of sunglasses is more important for our eyesight than our “street cred” and our children deserve it as much as we do.

Protecting your kids from harmful rays

Scientists have long been studying the effects of different kinds of light on a human’s eyes and they discovered that UV rays are much more dangerous to kids than adults because of their eyes are not as efficient as an adult when it comes to filtering high-energy rays.

UV rays are both dangerous to adults and kids because it can cause cataracts when an individual is exposed to high amounts of it for a long period of time. It’s important to note that since children spend more time outdoors playing in parks or at the schoolyard they’re more prone to developing this disease later on if they’re not provided with proper care.

But even if your child stays indoors more than outside there’s still the risk of him/her developing problems with his/her eyesight due to another harmful ray – Blue Light.

Blue Light, or what scientists refer to as high-energy visible light (HEV), is the kind of light that comes from gadgets and artificial light and this ray is just as harmful as UV rays if you’re exposed to it for long periods of time.

Blue Light can come from light bulbs, smart phones and computer screens and according to scientists this ray can lead to macular degeneration if the person is exposed to it consistently without the proper protection.

For those who are unaware, macular degeneration is the deterioration of the pigmented area, which is located at the centre of the retina.

This part of the eye is responsible for helping us fine-tune our vision so we can recognize shapes and other details of the world with more accuracy. Whenever we look at someone’s face and we recognize them due to the shape of their head, eyes, mouth, jaws and ears it’s because our macula is helping us recognize the details of what we see.

It also helps us figure out the shapes in a book or an eye chart so we can distinguish is a letter is an “a” or an “e.” When macular degeneration occurs all we see in front of us are blurred images making it nearly impossible for us to distinguish what exactly we are looking at.

Although, macular degeneration is often caused by hereditary problems and even smoking some scientists are discovering that prolonged exposure to Blue Light can also lead to the progression of this disease.

Kids these days spend an inordinate amount of time staring at their tablets or computers playing their favourite video games or simply browsing the internet and the Blue Light that they’re exposed to is unhealthy enough to cause severe eyesight problems as they grow older.

Fortunately, eyewear today has progressed immensely that there are lenses that can protect children’s eyes from both UV rays and Blue Light. There are even glasses that have sturdy frames, which mean that even if your little toddler is prone to hurling anything within her reach the glasses she wears to protect her eyes from harmful rays won’t break easily.

So the next time you find yourself looking at a billboard about the latest eye wear think about buying your kids their own pairs too so they’ll get to enjoy looking at the wonders of the world without the risk of developing eyesight problems in the future.

Eyes Get Sunburned Too

Optometrists in Australia are warning people that aside from their skin their eyes can get sunburn too.

A teenager from Queensland experienced sunburn in a weird way all because it wasn’t her skin that got the brunt of the sun’s rays but her eyes suffered from it.

Bonita De Brincat, a year 12 student, enjoyed the summer by heading out to the beach for some fun on the water like every other teenager her age.

She said that she lathered her whole body with sunscreen to keep the sun’s UV rays from doing any damage to her skin but she didn’t think that her eyes would need any protection since it never occurred to her that those parts of her body would get sunburn.

But after a couple of hours at the beach she realized that something was wrong with her eyes.

She said that her eyes started to get sore and the sun’s rays bouncing off the water and straight into her eyes were what caused it.

Bonita’s sunburned eyes not only became red but it became painful as well and she had to lie down and avoid any activities for two days.

She said that she had to hold an ice pack over her head and lay down on a bed because the pain was unbearable.

Luke Arundel, a doctor working with Optometry Australia, said that people who stay under the sun should not just protect their skin from UV rays but they should also protect their eyes, otherwise, they will suffer from photokeratitis, which is the equivalent of getting sunburn on your skin.

Photokeratitis is a painful eye condition that happens when a person’s eyes are exposed to too much UV rays.

Arundel advises people to wear sunglasses all the time while outside the house.

Bonita De Brincat learned that the hard way but the smart teenager now wears sunglasses whenever she goes out.

She said that people her age should protect their eyes at all times because they often neglect that part of their bodies whenever they go out of the house.

It’s good advice as well since children have much more sensitive eyes compared to adults.

According to optometrists children’s eyes are at risk of macular degeneration, cataract and even eye cancer if not protected.

Macular degeneration is often an age-related condition wherein people above 60 suffer from loss of vision.

But teenagers who do not protect their eyes from UV rays can also be at risk from this debilitating condition.

Arundel also advised that parents should purchase effective protective sunglasses for their children instead of buying them eye wear that are fancy.

A lot of fancy sunglasses do not sport lenses capable of preventing UV rays from entering the wearer’s eyes. So Arundel advises his patients to buy authentic anti-UV ray sunglasses to ensure that the wearer’s eyes are at all times protected from harmful rays.

6 Advantages and 7 Disadvantages Of Exposing Young Kids to Technology

6 Advantages and 7 Disadvantages  Of Exposing Young Kids to Technology

As more and more children are accessing gadgets such as tablets, desktops, laptops, smart phones, gaming devices, and more; it can indeed be a wonder if it is good or bad for young kids to be exposed to technology.  Well, to help parents out there decide on this matter, we are listing the pros and cons of technology exposure among young children.

The Advantages

It can definitely be advantageous for parents to have kids carry smartphones as it becomes easier to track the whereabouts of their children. You can easily call or text them and in addition, there are options to subscribe to GPS tracking to know the exact location of their children. Other advantages are as follows;

  1. Because the rule of the game when it comes to technology is engagement, kids easily develop their hand and eyes coordination through tech gadgets. Hand-eye coordination is important when kids begin to attend school as they will learn how to effectively utilize their hands when writing and drawing.
  2. Improve basic skills such as reading and writing.  There are numerous software available which can help parents teach children how to read and write.  There are thousands of resources and websites which parents can access to gather ideas when it comes to teaching basic learning skills for children.  There are also programs and software which can be downloaded onto the kid’s handheld device for this purpose.  
  3. When parents expose their kids to technologies at a tender age, they are actually helping them to be prepared for school readiness.  Parents can use technology to not only teach kids about basic skills such as to read and write but also for more advanced cognitive development strategies. The availability of programs that will teach math, science, history, sports and more are bountiful.
  4. It also helps increase children’s motivation and desire to achieve something. This is because countless computer activities and applications are designed to encourage kids to finish certain tasks, unlock levels, and win a game.  The use of learning video games can actually build a foundation for kids to learn about perseverance and overcome obstacles. This can be applied inside or outside computer games onto real life scenarios.
  5. Children can learn spatial skills.  Visuals is one of the core elements of technology and through it, kids do not have to imagine how tall a building is, or compare the size of a cat with that of a tiger, or how big a palace is compared to a house.
  6. Technology helps develop problem solving skills. When they play video or computer games, their minds are actually working when it comes to finding solutions in order to beat a boss, complete a mission, and progress towards the next level of a game for example.  

The Disadvantages

Even with the benefits enumerated above, parents can still become worried that their kids may acquire negative habits that will impair their child growth and development due to technology. Such concerns are valid when you consider the disadvantages of exposing kids to tech at a very young age. Here are some of those issues:

  1. There is a possibility that they will be able to access unsuitable content such as violence, pornography, and other inappropriate contents. The problem becomes bigger when these are shared to fellow children too.
  2. Development towards being a disconnected youth who can socialize excellently in the online world but suffer social anxieties when confronted with face to face interaction.
  3. Exposure to health risks as it helps kids to lead a sedentary lifestyle.  They spend too much time watching TV, playing video games, and using computers but spend so little time or none at all for physical activities.  In addition, children eat a lot, especially unhealthy foods when they are in front of TV’s, computers, or handling other electronic gadgets; thus, they may acquire medical issues like obesity and diabetes.
  4. In relation to health concerns, staring too much on an electronic device’s screen (i.e. TV, computer, tablet, and smart phone) may lead to poor eyesight. I’ve seen kids suffer from vision problems, wearing prescription eyeglasses as early 10 years old. This is not always because of a congenital issue. It is often caused by too much gadget usage.
  5. Another medical concern is the possibility of developing Attention Deficit Disorder or ADD. A research conducted at a children's hospital in Seattle, as published by the journal Pediatrics in April 2004 showed that excessive exposure to electronic screens at a young age increases the risk of developing attention issues by as much as 28%.
  6. Their sensibilities are not yet mature; hence, they have poor judgment and may end up performing inappropriate activities or worse, become involved with criminal acts.  For example, they can become addicted to online gambling, discover hacking, and download illegal materials or more.
  7. Digital devices are actually mind distraction and destruction when not controlled.  Many experts and even parents agree that technologies are actually making kids disconnected from reality.  This affects how they interact with others and how they maintain relationships with family, friends and others. There are also still unknown dangers that lurk behind these electronic devices apart from the recognized ones like hacking, pornography and more.

Technology is a necessity and provides ease and convenience in today’s situation.  However, because of the disadvantages that impact child growth and development, parents should master strategies on how kids use technology to their utmost advantage.